Portal - _Swarth_
(Profound Lore, 2009)
by: S. Martin (9.5 out of 10)
Lisa Simpson: You have to listen to the notes she's NOT playing.

Aptly applicable to the abstract and anti-all Portal, Queensland's greatest obscurity since the creation of The Big Pineapple, is the above quote. One can either indulge oneself in Portal's revolting, traumatic soundscapes, or discard it for untimely, unorganized, untalented noise; each to their own, no one really cares. Their non-conformist approach to music itself is impressive, however, their execution of avoiding the preformed ideals behind music and music theory is right on par. They've perfected what they set out to do; that is, not to stray too far from the line they're avoiding, rarely stepping foot into noise's rightful territory, or death metal's eroded paths and crooked, contradicting signs.

Guy: [Unimpressed] Hmph, sounds like she's hitting a baby with a cat.

Originality is something rare, especially in a tried and tired scene, such as death metal -- and subsequently deathcore. Portal didn't release _Swarth_ to please anyone; their constant dissonance and sporadic compositions, their abstract themes and avantgarde attires all play a role in conjuring up the evil, malignant image Portal have become. They've made themselves what they are from touring, word of mouth and little more than the somewhat compulsory current social-networking fad. It's hard to appreciate something that nothing -- as of yet -- has derived. And with their current trend of 'better, better, best', Portal will be a household name within time -- that is, if your house is full of long haired, bearded, beer-bellied metal heads and musicians alike.

The band strive for an unequal, which would naturally result in some negative aspects. Some songs (if not, the only songs), such as "Omenknow" and "Writhen", feel as if they become quite redundant over time. The continual riffs and beat changes throughout _Swarth_ really come to a halt with "Omenknow", which seems to seriously lack progression. The re-recording of "Werships" really follows rule of thumb, that is: no cover is better than the original. Whether or not it is due to the nostalgic value, the original will always hold above what is found here, or that the high pitched dissonance is akin to finger nails to a chalkboard, I am unsure of.

Leading the dirty ensemble of fiendish mutants, The Curator. His bellowing clamor and blaring proclamations send cold, horrifying chills down your spine, and by his right hand, four abstract, talented musicians, which -- by some godly force -- have been brought together, to create this here album, _Swarth_. The best release of 2009.

Contact: http://www.portalabode.com/

(article published 14/2/2010)

12/2/2007 J Montague 8.5 Portal - Outre
11/15/2006 T DePalma 5 Portal - Lurker at the Threshold
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